Menace of Guatemala (Ideal What-Nots series)
No synopsis in Educational Film Guides.
Ken Smith reports: A patronizing narrator snickers while we see footage of "semi-barbarous" Guatemalans fishing, weaving, hauling clay pots on giant backpacks ("human pack animals" and "two-legged mules," the narrator chuckles), and engaging in "pagan" dances. The menace, by the way, is Agua, the volcano. Good (if gritty) footage of villagers running in terror while walls collapse around them.
Guatemala weaving backpacking trekking dance and dancing fear terror disasters earthquakes Central America Latin America South America safety
Subject: I disagree
Coming from a place where some of the physical hardships of life had been overcome, he is describing a people whose way of life was (and in many ways remains to this day) very hard. There is an appropriate sadness in his voice, sorrow for these people and their plight. Yes, it sounds patronizing to our ears, but he's not viewing them as less than human, as many did then. I hear a lot of respect for the people in his tone, and also a lot of thankfulness for the fact that he doesn't have to live such a hard life. I hear a subtext in which he is chiding his audience, asking "Faced with this much difficulty, would you do as well as they have? I don't think so."
Subject: menace of guatemala
i am amazed that there wasn't more about the beauty of their woolwork! i have seen some of the products and they really are lovely!
but, i have to say it, what a pig of a narrator. bleah, colonial white man ignorance! :(
Subject: Narrated by Smarmy Man
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Subject: Just what IS the menace we're talking about here?